UPDATE: Mosquitoes on Walpole Island test positive for West Nile

Photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / dabjola

Mosquitoes collected from Walpole Island First Nation earlier this month have tested positive for West Nile virus.

A letter from Indigenous Services Canada was posted to Walpole Island Council’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

“As you are aware many Health Units in Ontario have been reporting positive West Nile virus activity,” read the letter. “In response to this positive mosquito pool I would like to suggest that public health messaging be once again reinforced in the community, as personal protective measures are extremely important at this time of year.”

Information regarding the positive results were not immediately released to the local public health unit due to a 48-hour embargo which allows for a certain amount of time to share the information publicly, read the letter.

Lambton Public Health later released additional details on September 23, stating the mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile were collected from two traps on September 9 and September 14.

“These are the first positive results for the virus in Lambton County this year. No positive human cases of West Nile have been confirmed to date in the County,” read a release from the health unit.

Neighbouring communities in Chatham-Kent have reported two positive West Nile mosquito traps this season.

Public Health officials recommend that people avoid areas with high mosquito populations, wear light-coloured clothing, and use sprays containing DEET or Icardin in order to reduce the chance of being bitten by mosquitoes.